Shoulder depression test

Aka. Brachial plexus distraction test

Purpose: 

To test for radiculopathy or brachial plexus lesion.

Test procedure:

• The patient is seated.

• The examiner stands behind the patient.

• The examiner side-bends the neck and depresses the ipsilateral shoulder. This places a detractive force through the nerve roots of the cervical and brachial plexii.

• The examiner observes the patient for pain.

Test findings:

The test is positive if the patient reports neurological radiations in the upper extremity. If patient reports only local pain may indicate symptoms of musculo-ligamentous origin.